We’re set to enter the fourth day of votes for House Speaker today. Kevin McCarthy has lost 11 ballots in a row, and there’s no real indication that the losing will stop anytime soon. McCarthy will almost certainly never win Speaker of the House because, among the 19-20 anti-McCarthy votes, it’s personal for too many of them. They’re too pissed off that McCarthy worked to undermine some of them and their MAGA counterparts during the midterms. They hate that he ran ads against them in their districts calling them Nazis. They’re appalled that McCarthy tried to talk Donald Trump into resigning after January 6th. They’re disgusted that McCarthy moved his furniture into the Speaker’s office before he was elected.
“Every time Kevin sends his people out to go talk to the dissenters, whenever our side says Look, we want a leader with substance and a leader who believes in it, they all immediately know exactly the criticism that we’re talking about,” the source told Puck News. “People don’t trust McCarthy. They don’t think he’s proven himself to be trustworthy. And they think that he cares more about becoming speaker than he does about actually changing things and working to fix the institution.”
At this point, the biggest fear of the 20 rebels is of Democrats leaving the floor, which might allow McCarthy to gain enough votes to win Speaker. Matt Gaetz, in fact, spent much of yesterday talking to Democrats to make sure they didn’t leave for dinners or fundraisers, while also telling Laura Ingraham that if Democrats help the GOP elect a moderate Speaker, he will resign, which sounds like a win-win to me.
It’s unclear who will eventually be elected Speaker, but at this point, the only victory that the 20 rebels can see, historically speaking, is the one in which Kevin McCarthy is not elected Speaker. McCarthy can give them everything they ask for, but it won’t matter. From Politico:
“[Gaetz] told one Democrat, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, that his group had gotten everything they wanted from McCarthy so far but still didn’t plan to vote for him, according to a person familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
In the meantime, it makes for great CSPAN, where you can watch Matt Gaetz have a conversation with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or George Santos try to find a lunch table that will accept him.
George Santos has to be my new favorite character. The writers truly outdid themselves.— Santiago Mayer (@santiagomayer_) January 5, 2023